Why TfL Rail and not Crossrail

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by TheEdge, 10 Jun 2015.

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  1. TheEdge

    TheEdge Established Member

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    Quite simple really. What is the logic behind the GEML Metro's being branded as TfL rail rather than Crossrail given they are already operated by MTR?

    Surely it just means it all needs a rebranding again within a few years.
     
  2. telstarbox

    telstarbox Established Member

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    They're waiting for the new trains and the tunnel section so when they launch Crossrail it's more impressive! At the moment it doesn't 'cross' anything.
     
  3. causton

    causton Established Member

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    Because if you start calling the new service "Crossrail" when it is no different to the service that was offered before in terms of routes and rolling stock, people will start to think "Why are they spending all this money on Crossrail, it all looks the same?"
     
  4. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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  5. JaJaWa

    JaJaWa Established Member

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    The new 'permanent' TfL Rail signs are actually Crossrail signs with TfL Rail stickers on top. So rebranding will cost very little.
     
  6. DownSouth

    DownSouth Established Member

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    This is an excellent example of a marketing strategy that has been thought out properly.

    And why wouldn't you want it to be that way? The real competition is not against other rail companies (that happens at the tendering stage) but against private transport.
     
  7. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    Using the Crossrail branding was always going to be a no no, but I do wonder if there was another way?

    From making it part of LO and then just transferring that to Crossrail later, or somehow keeping it as it was but operating those specific trains separately (end user wouldn't be aware, but obviously Abellio and TfL would).

    The reason is simply that it's another load of signs, another announcement on trains, another sticker for Tfl Rail (that until now nobody had heard of, so there's a learning curve to understand the difference between National Rail and Tfl Rail). Especially for a service that really isn't different to National Rail in look right now, but if anything has more scope to be LO.

    I realise the colour scheme is an issue, but would that have been such a big deal. The new trains will mean switching colours on the rolling stock, and the maps/signs will have to be all changed anyway.
     
  8. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    As an aside I note these are only 9-car. Surprised they didn't start with 12. Are the platforms only to be built for 9?
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    It's not dissimilar to that of Virgin Trains, which used one livery for older rolling stock and a different one for the new stock when it arrived (and actually repainted one unrefurbished XC Mk2 set in InterCity livery). They seem to be following the same idea on the East Coast as well.
     
  9. jopsuk

    jopsuk Veteran Member

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    They're 200m with longer than normal (for a suburban EMU) carriages. The tender called for 200m trains expecting 10 car. Not sure if the platforms are being built for longer- I think some of the GEML stations will be SDO already?
     
  10. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    The platforms are 250m between headwalls to allow for expansion up to 12 x 20m vehicles - the original Crossrail plans referred to 5 x 20m vehicles running in pairs during the peaks, with the ability to run short trains off-peak. On opening they were going to partition off 25m of platform at either end.

    AIUI they realised fairly quickly that the PEDs in the core area were not suited to varying train lengths - so by the time the ITT went out the half trains had become 10 x 20m, expressed as 'about 200m' trains, and Bombardiers response was a fixed formation of 9 cars at just over 200m, roughly 22.7m cars. My view is that the lengthening of the individual cars was primarily to give the room for the third sets of doors in each car.

    So for expansion if/when it goes ahead it would be to 11 car trains at around 250m in total length.
     
  11. Wolfie

    Wolfie Established Member

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    My bold

    Perhaps they no more wanted to trash the LO brand than they did the Crossrail one....
     
  12. 306024

    306024 Established Member

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    Not sure that is a sound plan, one transfer is bad enough to manage, never mind two ;)

    It is all about the long term game. A huge number of drivers are required to be recruited and trained, and MTR have already started. MTR Crossrail is a whole new organisation in itself, so better to gain experience immediately while the operation is relatively low profile. In the bigger picture things like signs and announcements are comparatively trivial.

    No point in keeping it a self contained part of Abellio either as they are up for refranchising in October 2016 so that would just further complicate everything.
     
  13. rebmcr

    rebmcr Established Member

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    Yep, this is intentional by TfL to trial the working relationship with MTR and iron out any wrinkles before the critical stuff comes online. I seriously doubt Abellio would allow the use of their brand for that, plus now it's possible to survey passengers very specifically.
     
  14. Class 170101

    Class 170101 Established Member

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    Not entirely convinced that transfer was the best move at this time. Its created many interfaces that whilst they would have needed to be created at some point didn't need to be created just yet.

    In terms of drivers how many retired or moved depots immediately before TfL Rail came into existence? In terms of train crew stability until the tunnel opens I can see it being very fluid as drivers become bored of driving between Shenfield and Liverpool Street stopping at all stations everyday for most of the day.
     
  15. TheKnightWho

    TheKnightWho Established Member

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    Isn't this how it works on the Tube? I'm pretty sure drivers stick to one line only, and they don't seem to have retention issues.
     
  16. Class 170101

    Class 170101 Established Member

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    Most lines are longer than Shenfield to Liverpool Street. Waterloo and City is covered by Central Line crews I believe.
     
  17. Nym

    Nym Established Member

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    Victoria Line tends to be rather boring to drive, and the Central Line does involve driving 92TS, and that's less than fun...
     
  18. Mojo

    Mojo Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    The difference is that a TfL Rail (MTR Crossrail) Driver could join any number of Tocs as a "qualified Train Driver" whereas a LU Train Operator could not. I do not know what MTR Crossrail are paying but Lorol pay is one of the best in the industry, and the highest for the type of work that they do.

    This will be quite a big factor to do with retention of staff, but there is also a smaller factor of there being a totally different culture.
     
  19. HH

    HH Established Member

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    They'll get Crossrail soon enough, with new trains and lots of new route. Why would they leave?
     
  20. Mojo

    Mojo Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Tocs that do a lot of stopping work, particularly in London, tend to have a higher turnover of Drivers than, say, long distance Intercity operators.
     
  21. HH

    HH Established Member

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    InterCity operators also tend to pay more, and have better T&Cs in general, e.g. VWC have a 4 weeks on, 5th week off roster.

    But IC has always been seen as superior from BR days. Whether that's to do with the stopping pattern I wouldn't know. But still, there's not that many convenient jobs and there's plenty of competition.

    I imagine that we'll see movement in the T&Cs for Crossrail drivers anyway, if LO are anything to go by.
     
  22. Kristofferson

    Kristofferson Established Member

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    Here's something that's been bugging me - outside of the tunnel core, are the tracks staying the same? Won't Crossrail be plagued by the same problems that currently affect the GEML/GWML?
     
  23. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    LUL drivers do, however, have the option to move line. Since ATO came in on the Northern Line, there seems to have been a tidal wave of drivers moving to the Met Line - in some cases drivers who have been on the Northern for many years, and for whom moving to the Met Line was less convenient in relation to where they live. Meanwhile, other drivers have expressed horror at the thought the Northern Line could one day end up being an Edgware-Battersea service, with the Barnet-Morden service hived off.

    You can always staff a boring operation with new drivers, and with a rump of senior drivers who don't care where they work as long as it's convenient for them domestically and the money comes in every 4 weeks. Unfortunately, the trade-off tends to be increased errors (from perennially having new staff on the books), and quite often increased sickness levels and, perhaps, militancy.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Generally the Central is quite well regarded by drivers. As well as the line being surprisingly laid-back in nature, the 92 stock is actually quite popular. One driver who transferred from the Northern to Central remarked to me 'it's brilliant over here, the trains are so unreliable half the time my train is cancelled'. I don't think it's quite like that, but coming off a line like the Northern where trains are very nearly NEVER cancelled due to no ok stock I can understand the novelty.

    The Vic is boring, but I've always found Vic drivers surprisingly cheerful. There are advantages to it, you're never working in the same cab for more than 35 mins at a time, and are never too far from your home depot, so less risk of finishing late.

    Personally I'd suggest the Jubilee is probably the worst to work on. Pretty boring (especially now it's ATO), and a bit of a ****ty relationship between drivers, management and service control, which manifests itself for example with drivers being chased over quite small delays, and more confrontational comms between drivers and managers / controllers relative to many other lines.

    Picc and Circle/Hammersmith are generally regarded as being very militant, however staff working there will generally say that despite this things are still pretty civilised.

    District Line is always known for being pretty relaxed.

    Not much to say about the rest, the Met Northern and Bakerloo just seem to get on with it without any bother.
     
  24. SpacePhoenix

    SpacePhoenix Established Member

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    Will all the LU lines eventually go over to ATO?
     
  25. jopsuk

    jopsuk Veteran Member

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    They'll certainly go to some level of automation, yes. That's certainly what TfL want for the Sub Surface Lines, and the replacement stock for the other deep tube lines will be built for ATO.
     
  26. Western Lord

    Western Lord Member

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    Well of course, in the old days, inter city services would have been operated by "top link" crews, i.e. the most experienced drivers who had worked their way up through the system. This is no longer the case with todays railway, an inter city driver might have been a milkman six months ago.
     
  27. HH

    HH Established Member

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    Indeed, but the question is why it was seen as the job for the "top link". My proposition is that it was mainly because of the trains themselves, the speed and the prestige associated with working intercity, rather than the stopping pattern. Although OFC it's all part of the package and therefore impossible to say. :D Unless we have an old IC driver lurking the forums.
     
  28. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    The tracks aren't staying the same on either route, there are a number of extra loops, platform roads, stabling and reversing sidings.

    On the GW, the entrance to Acton Yard gets a diveunder for the up relief, and Stockley junction becomes grade separated for all moves to/from both mains and reliefs. Both of those are major civils projects and have been under way for a long time now..
     
    Last edited: 17 Jun 2015
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